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Yale Prof Timothy Snyder, last lecture, The Making of Modern Ukraine (Original Post) Tomconroy Dec 2022 OP
War in context: Yale's Ukraine course reaches a global audience Celerity Dec 2022 #1


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1. War in context: Yale's Ukraine course reaches a global audience
Thu Dec 8, 2022, 04:57 PM
Dec 2022
“The Making of Modern Ukraine,” taught by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, provides students and online viewers with illuminating context for the ongoing war.


In the days leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, few people expected an act of such aggression, Yale historian Timothy Snyder told a classroom of students earlier this semester. Looking back now, he said, the fact that the invasion did happen offers an important reminder: seen from the present, history is hard to predict.

In fact, Snyder told students, the oft-quoted saying that “history repeats itself” is a fallacy. “If it is true that history repeats itself, then nothing we do matters,” Snyder, the Richard C. Levin Professor of History in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), told students gathered in William L. Harkness Hall. “If history literally repeats itself, there would be no human agency. … It’s the same as saying ‘Things never change.’”

The war in Ukraine has also revealed other fundamental misconceptions. For instance, it was commonly assumed that Ukraine would fall quickly. “The fact that we thought Ukraine would collapse in three days,” he said, “might say more about our misunderstandings of the place than it does about the place itself.”

At a time when Ukraine — and its resistance to repeated Russian assaults — has attracted global attention, Snyder has tried to correct such misconceptions in the course “The Making of Modern Ukraine.”

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